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This content is part of the Conference Coverage: A complete guide to AWS re:Invent 2018 news and analysis
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AWS cloud features offer network, performance improvements

As is often the case, AWS’ yearly Summit in New York provided the scene for some additional features and functionality. While AWS cloud features are unveiled regularly, the free-to-attend conference generates some excitement among both cloud newcomers and experienced shops alike.

SearchAWS.com attended the Summit, and reported on various new AWS cloud features and trends, including:

  • New capabilities for AWS Snowball Edge — a boon for enterprises with edge computing needs — as well as a boost to S3 performance, new EC2 instances and a Bring Your Own IP feature;
  • Early adoption patterns for Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS), as well as attendee reactions to an EKS workshop, and how AWS might improve the service moving forward; and
  • A one-on-one discussion with Matt Wood, AWS’ GM of Deep Learning and AI, regarding new SageMaker features, enterprise AI challenges and the ethics of facial recognition technology.

ALB gets its actions together

The continued push from HTTP to HTTPS also gives AWS customers easy way to meet their compliance goals.

Application Load Balancer’s (ALB) content-based routing rules now support redirect and fixed-response actions in all AWS regions, which fills two big networking needs for users. Redirect actions enable an ALB to readdress incoming requests from one URL to another, such as from an HTTP to an HTTPS endpoint, which helps organizations improve security and search ranking. Fixed-response actions enable an ALB to answer incoming requests rather than forward the request to the application, for example to send custom error messages when a problem occurs.

EFS gets a performance boost

For users that encounter Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) performance issues, some relief has arrived.

Provisioned Throughput for Amazon EFS enables a developer to dynamically adjust throughput in accordance with an application’s performance needs, regardless of the amount of data stored on the file system. While users previously could burst EFS throughput for applications with more modest needs, the Provisioned Throughput feature suits applications with more strenuous needs.

DevSecOps gets more robust

Amazon GuardDuty, one of two AWS security services that relies on machine learning, could see more widespread adoption after it gained an important integration with another service.

GuardDuty now works with AWS CloudFormation StackSets, which enable an enterprise security team to automate threat detection across multiple accounts and regions. CloudFormation automates the provisioning of infrastructure and services, giving enterprises the ability to quickly and efficiently watch for threats.

For the good of the hack

A pair of upcoming AWS hackathons aims to put developer brainpower to work for socially conscious causes.

Developers can enter two hackathons — one focused on serverless applications and another on Alexa skills — that offer cash prizes for imaginative projects focused on social good. The Amazon Alexa Skills Challenge offers various cash and participation prizes for apps that use a voice command interface, while its Serverless Apps for Social Good hackathon seeks AWS Serverless Application Repository projects that combat human trafficking.

Nonoptimal Prime

Chaos ensued shortly after the start of Amazon’s heavily advertised Prime Day retail initiative on July 16, as customers could not access product pages. The Amazon disruption, attributed to a software issue within Amazon’s internal retail system, was severe enough that the company temporarily killed off international traffic.

According to a CNBC report citing internal documents, Amazon manually added server capacity as traffic surged to its retail site, which points to its Auto Scaling feature as the potential culprit that affected its internal Sable system. While the disruption generated negative press for the retail giant, which touted its internal readiness and scalability for Prime Day as recently as last year’s re:Invent conference, it still reported sales of more than 100 million products.

While AWS experienced intermittent errors with its Management Console that afternoon, the company says AWS infrastructure and services were not involved with the Prime Day snafu.

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